On March 25, we started a new CrossFit cycle at Terrain Fitness. This cycle will be focused on gaining strength in Front Squat, Clean & Jerk and Deadlifts. The skills that will be done this cycle are learning how to Kip properly and Rope Climbs. Let's get started!
The Front Squat is one of the various squatting movements we do in CrossFit. The bar is held in the Front Rack Position and is one of the key proponents to Olympic Lifting. This movement is a big carry over to squat cleaning. The movement starts with the bar in the font-rack position (sitting on the shoulder shelf), feet are in a shoulder-width stance, loose fingertip grip on the bar (wrist mobility), elbows high in front of the bar. From here, you're going to focus on driving the hips back and then down. As the hips lower, focus on keeping the knees in line with the toes and make sure to hit parallel (hips descend lower than the knees). Make sure you keep a lumbar curve and heels down. The movement ends when the hips and knees are at full extension.
Limiting mobility issues for the Front Squat include thoracic extension strength, wrist and lats. Mobility problems in these areas can cause the athlete to bring the bar forward on the squat, chest collapsing during the squat and also a poor front rack position in general. Below are some stretches to help improve your mobility in these areas. Come in before class and implement these in your daily routine!
Thoracic Extension Strength:
Deadlift - Pick shit up, put it down!
You asked for it, you got it! People either LOVE deadlifts or HATE them. Hopefully, after this cycle, everyone will LOVE them. The reason being, the deadlift is arguably the best exercise you can do for your body as it works every single muscle in your body. Starting from the top down, you engage your lats to keep a neutral spine, engage your core to keep everything rigid throughout your entire body finishing off with your posterior chain (lower back/glutes/hamstrings) to actually do most of the lifting. In addition to all these beneficial aspects, who doesn't like to lift a lot of weight?!?!
There are some misconceptions when it comes to the deadlift. Namely, a lot of people wanna pull the bar with their arms and lower back. This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. You wanna think about pushing the bar away from the floor with your heels. Here are some key factors to think about when deadlifting:
The weight of the bar should be focused on the midfoot
Bar should be about 1 inch away from your shin
Hips a little higher than a clean lift
Shoulder slightly in front of the bar
Face looking at a 45 degree angle to keep a neutral spine
Engage lats by rolling shoulders back before lifting
Use mixed hand grip if weight is heavy
"Push" the bar away from the floor with feet, staying back on your heels
Everything comes up at once (don't shoot hips up)
Once the bar passes knee, then your torso starts to come upright
The movement finishes when legs are locked out and chest is up
When descending, keep lats engaged by puffing the chest out
Hips go back first
Torso comes forward until bar is at knee level
Then hips come down until you hit the floor
Rope Climbs and Kipping!
This cycle will be geared towards learning how to kip and rope climb. If you already know how to kip or rope climb, we will focus on getting you stronger in these areas as well as focusing on progressing to the next level like chest-to-bar or bar muscle up or legless rope climbs. The skills will be done as one week on and one week off. Do not miss these days if you can. At Terrain, we love teaching these skills and love seeing our members start progressing in each area. You will be getting 3 weeks of each skill over the next cycle! If you'd like to work on these skills more, remember any of these stations/exercises can be done on your own time as well, during Open Gym hours.
Our test WOD for this cycle is:
Start each round with 400m Run
Clean & Jerks
This workout will be repeated in 7 weeks. Make sure to input your score so you can see how far you've come over the entire cycle. If you are unable to make the workout today, ask a coach when you could do the workout. If you have any questions or input, please feel free to talk to one of our coaches. As always, have fun and enjoy the cycle and your own journey of fitness!
-Rodney and Rachel